You can draw. Really. Even when you can’t draw.

Ask a child of five or so to draw you a house.

Do they take their paper and crayons, go outside, sit down in front of a house and carefully draw what they see?

…Or do they, perhaps, keep their eyes glued firmly to the paper and present you pretty promptly with a piece of artwork like this?

House - children's drawings

This is a composite of actual children’s drawings.

Home. Windows icon.

…And this is the Windows icon for ‘Home’

Enough said.

You can draw. Of course you can.

Drawing is so easy a child can do it.


Confession time. Don’t laugh, but it took years for a pretty obvious reason to dawn on me.

There are two kinds of drawing

Continue reading You can draw. Really. Even when you can’t draw.

Brushes in Sketchbook Pro for iPad

Hidden Treasure, originally uploaded by purple0wl.


In the mysterious under-screen world of Sketchbook Pro I’ve been exploring for brushes.

There are several versions of Autodesk Sketchbook for tablets and smartphones. Sketchbook Pro for iPad is best of them all.

This version of Sketchbook has over 70 preset brushes, all editable for tip and tail width, transparency and spacing. I tried them all and in the phantasmagoria above –  yes, I found hidden treasure.

I’ve often complained about the lack of a smudge brush in several top painting apps. I always thought Sketchbook was one of those inconsiderate apps, but I was wrong.

If you want to play Hunt the Brush, you may find the smear from a quite respectable smudge brush in the picture. (Numbers are placed to give a rough idea of the menus where I doodled with the various brush effects.)

iPad Finger Painting. Making Brushes.

Shepherd’s Delight, originally uploaded by purple0wl.

I’ve had my iPad for a couple of weeks now. Still experimenting.

Compared with my iPhone, the iPad with its larger screen is certainly easier to draw on.

As a matter of fact, as far as I can see, the pictures you end up with are no larger than those on the iPhone or iPod Touch. Most artists’ finger painting apps can be used on the ipad with little alteration. They appear as a small rectangle marooned in the centre of the iPad screen.

All is not lost, however. There’s a button to double the display size and work at 2x magnification. This is easier than constantly pinching in and out, as you have to do on the smaller machines to work on detail.

This larger working size makes it easier to paint with a wide variety of brushes and fancy textures.

An app called Magic Brush will even allow you to make your own brush.

The fleece of this sheep was made in Magic Brush from a shape cut out of a photo (taken with my iphone) of some pastel paper. I could then use it just like any other brush, altering size, colour and transparency.

Magic Brush allows you to add a background to paintings made with your custom brushes. I added this sunset.

The result was then exported to a photo app called PhotoStudio, and a rusty texture added.

All was still not finished. I found I needed to alter the sheep’s legs and tail. This I did in Brushes app. To paint over the alterations, I had to emulate the rusty texture with the range of ready made but very adaptable Brushes tools.

I learned a lot!